For every one of the million of products we use to improve the quality of our lives, there are associated environmental, ethical and social consequences. While some products have a small environmental bearing, others consume finite resources in vast quantities and are produced under conditions of labour abuse and environmental damage.
Mater is a Danish design brand and recognized and applauded as global pioneer in creating sustainable, eco-conscious, socially responsible design. Winner: Best Debut Design Brand, Wallpaper* Magazine 2008. Member of United Nations Global Compact. Actively involved in sustainable projects such as www.susbizindia.org.
Founded in 2006 by Henrik Marstrand, and presented to a global audience for the first time at Maison&Objet in Paris august 2007, Mater has a strong vision to create timeless and beautiful design based on an ethical business strategy. Mater combines exclusive high end home accessories with working methods that support people, local craft traditions and the environment. Maters collections are created by an external base of established and fresh design talent. Both suitable for contract and private homes.
Mater is the latin word for “mother”. We must ask ourselves what a responsible mother would do knowing the challenges “mother earth” faces in the future? In the Rajasthan province of India we captured a local role model; a proud mother as well as a proud craftsman. Some products lead short, miserable lives, destined for one-way trip between the retail shelf and burial in a landfill site – cradle to landfill. To overcome this, we must strive for products that survive the test of time by stripping them of ‘faddishness’ and temporaneity and creating instant classics that consumer will want to cherish and can maintain – cradle to grave. Creating classic, timeless and durable design has been at the heart of danish practice and will be kept in check when commissioning designers both danish and international talent.
As mature consumer societies are increasingly dominated by (physical) abundance; by saturation; by experiences; by virtual worlds; by individualism; by feelings of guilt and concern about the side-effects of unbridled consumption, status is to be had in many more ways than leading a somewhat dated lifestyle centered on hoarding as many branded luxury goods as possible.
Mater explores comminutes of non factory production and small scale production by connecting commissioned designers with local craft people with unique skills. Skills that may or may not be on the verge of losing out to more industrial methods of production. We explore materials and productions methods that are friendly towards “mother earth” without compromising on the design aesthetic. A mater product should be timeless, alluring, sensual, warm and durable while striving to be as responsible and transparent about production as possible. Most products are made entirely by hand using only simple tools.
Our commitment to a better world is routed in our code of conduct and we are committed to implement or motivate sustainable programs within the production chain. An ethical choice of material such as recycled or renewable wood, recycled aluminum or working with material that stems right out of “mother earth” and the communities we work with, act as our source of inspiration. Make no mistake, our approach is based on profits in the entire value chain. We believe that by improving profits though implementing sustainable initiatives is the long term approach that will work most effectively to provide a better world.
Mater and one of its local partners have actively participated in the sustainable initiative Susbiz India which has improved production techniques, the work with recycled materials and conditions for craft people. We invite you to study our website or the official site for the program www.susbizindia.org. the program was partly funded by the Danish government investment program for developing countries – Danida.